When people write or talk about the Om El Arab breeding program their main focus is always on the mare that started it all, *Estopa. But *Estopa was not alone in the creation of legends - she had a mate named Shaker El Masri.
In 1971 Sigi and her first husband Heinz traveled to Egypt to shop for straight Egyptian horses. At the famous State Stud El Zahra they saw two of the most beautiful straight Egyptian stallions they had ever seen. The first was Alaa El Din and the second was a chestnut stallion named Shaker. Shaker had a beautiful body, a shapely neck with a elegant throat and a pretty face with a fine muzzle. Sigi couldn’t believe it when Shaker was offered to them. They bought him immediately and brought him to Germany. Sigi asked their advisor, Dr. Amin Zaher, without whom this acquisition would not have been possible, what “Shaker” meant and he told her that it meant “thankful.” She later added the two words “El Masri” to Shaker’s name and the name Shaker El Masri was created. It means “thankful to Egypt”.
Shaker El Masri together with his mate *Estopa shaped a new style of Arabian horse and created a dynasty. Their offspring, *El Shaklan, Estawa, Estasha, Estara and Ibn Estopa were so far ahead of their time and are found in pedigrees of the majority of the successful show and breeding horses around the world today.
Sadly Shaker El Masri's life was cut tragically short due to a freak pasture accident. Although he only had a few precious years as a breeding stallion the legacy he left behind and his contribution and influence on the Arabian breed is nothing short of spectacular. The magic of his cross with Estopa circumnavigated the globe and forever altered the look of the modern Arabian horse. We remain to this day, and forever, “thankful to Egypt”.